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Interested in finally getting a SSD

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August 21, 2011 6:02:27 AM

Hi all,
The only foray into SSD that I've had was installing a SSD back in March 2009. The computer at the time was an ASUS eeePC 1005HA with Windows XP and the SSD was OCZ "Core Series V2 OCZSSD2-2C30G 2.5" 30GB SATA II". I have a feeling that the computer itself wasn't powerful enough to really see any gains in performance. I ended up selling the machine to someone else.

Fast-forward to now and I see that for about the same price I paid back in 2009 ($100) for 30GB I can get double the capacity. Such is technology.

I'm finally interested in getting a SSD for my desktop. Here are my specs:
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i, BIOS version 2003
CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core BX80605I5750
CPU OC'ed to 2.81 GHz
RAM: G.SKILL Trident 4GB DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) F3-16000CL9D-4GBTD
Video Card: Sapphire Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB
PSU: Corsair HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W
Hard Drives:
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10,000 RPM (internal, Main)
2 x WD Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5,400 RPM (internal, Backup)
1 x WD Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5,400 RPM (external, eSATA, Backup)
CD/DVD: Samsung SH-S203N
Case: Thermaltake Element V VL20001W2Z
OS: Windows 7 SP 1 x64 Home Premium

Now it is my understanding that:
1. It's best to do a clean install of the OS instead of cloning so that TRIM and other commands can be invoked on the new install
2. Even though my motherboard only supports SATA II, I won't see that much of a real-world performance increase if I had a SATA III motherboard and a SATA III SSD.

Please feel free to correct any points above.

Budget:
My budget is $100, but I am willing to go up to $150 if I see it's worth the extra amount. I am only willing to go above $150 if I get strong recommendations to go above it.

Use:
The use of my SSD is for my Windows installation and most likely a few programs. (Adobe Master Collection, MindJet MindManager)

Use for other drives:
My WD VelociRaptor will now be used as my drive for program installations.

Allegiance & Recommendations:
I am open to any recommendations for drives. I have no allegiances towards any companies. (Although if Western Digital made one, I would use that in a heartbeat if costs were not prohibitive :D ) I need something that is stable and that will last me for many years. For example, I have had the WD VelociRaptor for 3 years with no issues.

Concerns:
I have a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 TV tuner card which I use to watch TV on my PC using Windows Media Center. I rarely use the timeshifting feature, but I am concerned about all those small writes to the SSD cutting the life of the drive down. I am assuming I can change the location of the timeshifting folder. Looking around, it seems I can but it would be nice to get input from someone else on this feature and SSDs.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

More about : interested finally ssd

a b G Storage
August 22, 2011 2:51:16 PM

Clean install is always best, but cloning will work too.
Make sure you disable automatic defragmentation for that drive, as defragging an SSD will ruin it's performance (and is not needed).
SATA II are cheaper that SATA III, so for same amount of money you can get a bigger capacity SSD. If mobo is SATA II, you will not see any difference in terms of performance anyways. I am hardly convinced that one will actually be able to subjectively notice a performance difference anyways.
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August 22, 2011 9:47:04 PM

Hi house,
Thanks for responding. Would you recommend any particular drive? I am assuming I should stay away from any non-SandForce drives at this point?

Thanks again.
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a b G Storage
August 22, 2011 10:54:49 PM

I have used 2 Samsung SSDs with good results, no failures ( I can only speak from my own experience, the rest of the community is more than welcome to step in). For updated ratings and reviews, try a Newegg search and do a ranking by rating.
You're welcome, good luck with your project.
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a c 143 G Storage
August 22, 2011 11:09:09 PM

I second the clean install as the better option... When you do it, make sure 1) you enable AHCI in your BIOS and 2) disconnect all other drives until after the install.

I would read through this thread to get an understanding on SSD and if you plan on tweaking, here is some good information:

  • Information: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270102-32-useful-arti...
  • Tweaking: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe...

    As for a SSD recommendation, It is hard to pass up the Crucial m4 64GB drive at $114.99 This is probably the best drive you are going to get at round $100.00
    Share
    August 23, 2011 2:45:24 AM

    Hi tecmo, (shame they cut out the player names in the VC release, eh?)
    AHCI's already enabled as I'm using the 2 1TB drives in RAID 1. Is there a reason all the other drives should be disconnected during installation? I'll be formatting the 300GB drive anyways when I do a clean install on the SSD so if you're concerned about the first partitions being made, don't concern yourself with that.

    Any recommendations for a drive closer to $150? Just wondering if it's worth it to spend a tiny bit more. Thanks!
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    a c 143 G Storage
    August 23, 2011 3:02:19 AM

    The reason most people recommend not having the drives connected, is that Windows likes to put boot files at times on other drives, which can cause the SSD to slow down. If you don't have them connected, nothing to worry about.

    Actually, the Crucial m4 is probably the best sub $150 card you can purchase, so I don't really have any other recommendations.

    An yes.... it was a shame about the VC release.
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    August 23, 2011 3:13:28 AM

    Hi tecmo,
    Thanks for your reply once again. By "boot files", do you mean the boot partition that Windows 7 makes? The one thing that concerns me about this drive would be the slow write times. I believe I remember seeing other drives with write speeds that were closer to the read amounts. Thoughts?
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    a c 143 G Storage
    August 23, 2011 5:00:44 AM

    Yes.. I'm talking about the boot partition Windows 7 makes, as some times it can be part of the other drive.

    In real world usage, you won't see much of an impact compared to a mechanical drive but what you are referring to are the Sandforce 2200 SSD's with Sync NAND (OCZ Vertex 3, Corsair Force GT for examples). What you are seeing with those number is under ideal conditions, as tested by ATTO. It uses compressible data that these drives excel at and make them look much faster. Take a look at their AS SSD or CrystalDiskMark reviews and you'll see the write speeds a lot lower than their read speeds.
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    August 23, 2011 6:40:47 AM

    Best answer selected by BlindWolf8.
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    August 23, 2011 6:41:59 AM

    Just pulled the trigger on the m4. I will be back in a week or so and update this thread with some impressions if you guys want. :D 
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    !